Keeping Abreast of the Situation…

Posted: December 9, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

I never thought I would be the individual to speak out against the cult of the breast.  I’ve generally been pro-breast.  My personal pair may be small- I prefer the term ‘fun-sized’- but I like wearing low necklines and tight clothing to accentuate what I do have.  When I’m cattily deciding if another woman is attractive, the first things I judge are her skin and her hair, but I also look for a fit physique with soft and tempting curves.  And while saving the graphic play-by-play for your imagination, I will note thorough attention to breasts leads to much more satisfying romantic encounters.

Admittedly, until very recently, if someone used the phrase ‘cult of the breast’ around me, my mental picture would have been of sweaty-palmed men, crouching behind locked doors as they perused pictures or videos that featured women with maximal endowments and minimal clothing.  There is a time honored traditional linkage between big full bosoms and fertility/earth-mother goddesses, but when I used the phrase cult of breast, I envisioned people focusing on the sexual aspect of a fertility goddess, generally focusing in a prurient, pornographic way.  Men who call themselves ‘boob-men’, who collect magazines like ‘XL Girls’ and ‘D-Cup’, who find an otherwise average or overweight girl with a large rack more attractive than a fun-sized but otherwise gorgeous bloggeress, er, model…  O.K. I do get jealous, but that is neither here nor there.  But I have recently discovered there is a second, more feminine but also more insidious cult of the breast…

Suitable idols for the cult of breasts to worship...

Suitable idols for the ‘cult of the breast’ to worship…

I’m talking about the way some women seem to feel that breast-feeding is practically a commandment, that using a bottle of formula is somehow  heresy or anathema, on par with worshipping a graven image or murdering small cats in the microwave.  Yes, I get that breast feeding is the ‘natural’ choice, due to the fact that for most of human history it was also the only choice.  I’ve heard the cult’s doctrine, that breast feeding is both good for me and good for Piper.  For Piper, breast milk is supposed to carry all sorts of my immunities, as well as being chock full of nutrients and vitamins.  Breast-fed babies even have cleaner poohs that do not stink.  For me, the act of Piper feeding cues various internal biological processes, triggering changes that are supposed to help get my emotional-state hormones back to ‘normal’, my pelvic bones back into place, and even tighten my belly back to pre-Piper tautness.  As an added bonus, I was told breast feeding is oh-so convenient.  No worries about making or warming a bottle, mixing in gas drops, limited shelf life once mixed, etc.  Just grab a towel or cloak to stay decent if there’s an audience present, and shove my boob in Piper’s mouth.  Supposedly the only complication was to make sure I alternated boobs, so I wouldn’t risk becoming lop-sided.

Yeah, well, F&*% you, breast cultists!  As a brand new mother, everyone keeps asking me if I’m breast feeding.  The question itself doesn’t bother me- as I’ve mentioned, I think breasts are neat things, both to have and to hold, and this is one of the few circumstances where breasts are a socially acceptable topic for public conversation.  What bothers me is the way the askers imply that the correct answer is yes and that if I answer no it means I’m a horrible mommy who doesn’t want my baby to have nutrition, a healthy immune system, or non-stinky poohs.

Dammit, little girl, what are we doing wrong?

Dammit, little girl, what are we doing wrong?

I want to be a good mommy, I do.  I want Piper to have every advantage I can possibly give her in life, so I made the decision to breast feed way back in the second trimester.  My body and my baby were the ones to undermine me.  My very first night in the hospital, I was tired, stressed, hurting, and still semi-paralyzed from the spinal block, so I allowed the nurses to take Piper back to the nursery to watch overnight.  The next morning, I was still somewhat out of it, but I held my little angel, and I loved her, and when she cried that she was hungry, I lowered the hospital gown and, and failed.  Epic fail.  I placed Piper against my chest, and she tried once to suck me, and slid off, and slid off again, and started crying more intensely and flailing her head and arms, and I felt like I was about three inches tall.  This precious little girl is depending on me.  She’s hungry.  I’m trying to hold her still and force my boob into her mouth, and Piper moves from her ‘I’m hungry’ cry, the ‘neh, neh’ cry that is actually kind of soft and endearing, to her other cry, which is screaming at the top of her lungs like I’m attempting to dismember her with a dull spoon.  Remember readers, I’ve told you before that I’m not just proud, but borderline-arrogant.  I expect to succeed at anything I do, and take it poorly if I don’t.  And yet here I am, trying to breast feed, trying to do something that billions of mothers have done before me, without any need of a manual, and I can’t seem to get it to work.  The nurses try to help.  They even call another nurse who is a lactation expert to try to help me–

— And that’s another reason all you damn breast cultists can just F&*% off.  If breast feeding is so f&*%ing simple and convenient, why does a hospital need to have multiple lactation ‘expert’s on staff?–

Trust me, there are few experiences quite as humiliating and degrading as having a stranger trying to push your boob into the mouth of a screaming child.  She said my boobs, particularly just after the birth, still need some priming and pumping to get the milk flowing.  Think of trying to drink a really thick milkshake through a thin straw.  She said Piper had been spoiled by how easy and immediate the milk flowed from the bottles at the nursery, so we tried ‘fooling’ her, dripping some formula onto my breasts so Piper would think she was getting something out of them.  So now I’m not only screwing up something so simple it’s supposed to be instinctual, some thing that even animals have no problems with, but I’m already lying to my daughter before she is even forty-eight hours old.  Oh, and not only am I a horrible mother because I can’t even get something as simple as stick-my-boob-in-my-daughter’s-mouth right, but I’m also a horrible mother because I didn’t fight the nurses to keep Piper with me that first night when I felt like something the neighbor’s dog left in my yard and I allowed her get spoiled by the bottle, thereby condemning her to a life of poor nutrition, infectious disease, and stinky pooh.  Because nothing goes better with feelings of inadequacy and incompetence than a big heaping pile of guilt.

Maybe it's shallow on my part, but I don't want to be a guilty mother...

Maybe it’s shallow on my part, but I don’t want to be a guilty mother…

The expert also told me that it can take three to five days after the birth for my breasts to really fill up with milk, but that letting Piper try or, failing that, using a pump, for ten or twenty minutes at a time, would encourage the process.  And that once my milk came in I needed to continue letting Piper or the pump ‘suckle’ for an hour or two a day to keep my breasts from drying up.  So I thought if I was having trouble getting Piper to feed from me instead of a bottle, maybe I could pump me into a bottle, and in the process encourage my breasts to become better breasts.  (Curse, swear, mutter… all those women who naturally look to babies like all-you-can-eat buffets, and I’ve got the damn Jenny Craig line of breasts.  I’d really like to say I’m not jealous, but I’m so totally jealous.)  Let’s not even talk about breast pumps.  All those gears and tubes and vacuums busy hissing and clunking away, the damn thing just needs a few arching electrical sparks to become some deranged steam-punker’s wet dream, and nothing comes out.  Fifteen, twenty minutes each time, and I’m not even sure why I’m bothering to rinse out the catch bottles between attempts, since they have seen less use than a condom at the Duggers’ house.  On the day after I get home from the hospital, I finally have a ‘successful’ pumping.  For comparison sake, let me point out that Piper, who is a little piggy, is generally taking two and sometimes three ounces of formula at a feeding.  I produced one ounce- that’s total, both breasts combined- of a pale liquid that looked like it was more water then milk.  When I tried to give it to Piper, she flailed away from the bottle and wouldn’t drink it.  Moreover, while I had fretted at the hospital about whether I was pumping and trying hard enough, some nurses told me, don’t worry, my milk will come in regardless, the issue is how long can I keep it in.  Well, I never got the hardness or the swelling, never got any sign that I have any milk.  I would complain that my breasts fire blanks, except, honestly, I don’t think they fire at all.

Believe it or not, this is an enlarged and simplified representation of my f&*%-ing breast pump...

Believe it or not, this is an enlarged and simplified representation of my f&*%-ing breast pump...

When I serve, I’m in my comfort zone.  I don’t really care how other servers do their thing, I trust my instincts, and I always have fun.  I adapt how I serve to the customer, because every table is different.  I know there are multiple ways to do almost anything, and as long as you have the right customer focus, things generally work out.  Motherhood shouldn’t be that different, but I have no instincts to trust yet.  I know I have to figure out what is right for me and for Piper, because every baby and every mom is different, but all I can do, until I know enough to find my zone, is try to mimic what I see in others, and what the experts tell me.  And I’ve never fit well in someone else’s pigeonholes or been good at being someone other than me in my life, so I’m getting it wrong, and I’m feeling like a screw-up and this isn’t some table of customers that will walk back out of my life and my restaurant; this is my daughter who will succeed or fail in life based on the start I give her and I can’t even handle something as simple as sticking my boob in her mouth and I’m starting to hyperventilate and I need to breathe and….

Inhale.  Hold-two-three.  Exhale.  And this is why I’m not just irritated by the cult of the breast.  I don’t just dislike the cultists.  I truly loathe them and hope those breasts they so adore get covered with inflamed sores and itchy bug bites.  There is absolutely no reason to take a young single mom, alone and scared, me or anyone else, and pile all that pressure and guilt and self-doubt upon her.  I’ll even give them the benefit of the doubt and accept that they sincerely want to help.  It doesn’t matter; they aren’t helping.  There is a time to share your opinions and a time to keep your mouth shut.  This is the latter.

Oh, and one post script.  Until I get a chance to get my fashion link page up and running, I still need to cue y’all in on what I’m wearing.  The collage photo that started my post featured the ‘Egyptian Queen’ avatar from G & S team.  The ‘new mother’ outfit in the other pics was more of a mix and match: Shape: Nina, postpartum 1, from Baby Bumps; Skin: ‘Genuary(sic) 2013 Group Gift’ from WoW skins; Hair: source unknown freebie; Top: Off the shoulder nursing outfit from Sexy Mamas; Pants: Black Leather Punk Pants from Bailey’s Bare Essentials; Shoes: Wicked Boots from [Phunk].

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